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Bayfield man found dead 9 days after fiancée went missing in river

Woman died June 15 in south fork of Rio Grande

Law enforcement has identified a man found dead Monday near Vallecito Reservoir as Scott Wiebe, 39, of Bayfield.

The cause of death remained unknown as of Thursday, said Chris Burke, spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities continue to investigate, he said.

A La Plata County Sheriff’s deputy found Wiebe 6.7 miles up Middle Mountain Road north of the reservoir, Burke said. Burke said Wiebe was found about 8 p.m. outside his car. The department was responding after receiving a report that Wiebe was missing, he said.

Toxicology and autopsy results will take about a month to complete, said La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith.

Wiebe was engaged to Roberta Sophia Rodriguez, who died June 15 after falling into the south fork of the Rio Grande River. After 10 days of searching, Rodriguez’s body was recovered from the river about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday by Mineral County Search and Rescue, Archuleta County Emergency Management and the Rio Grande Forest Service, according to a Mineral County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.

The river’s volume was measured at 1,800 cubic feet per second at the time Rodriguez disappeared. According to the sheriff, that stretch of river northeast of Wolf Creek Pass normally runs at 100 to 200 cfs. Rodriguez, a Colorado Springs native, was living in Bayfield, according to a report by Denver CBS Local.

Fox 21 News reported Wiebe and Rodriguez were driving back to Durango when they stopped to see the river. Rodriguez’s mother, Josie, said the two were sitting on a boulder next to the river. Wiebe turned to get off the rock, Fox 21 reported, and then Rodriguez fell into the water as she stood up and turned to get off the boulder.

“(Josie) said Roberta’s fiance tried to help her, but with the water being so strong, he did everything he could,” according to the report.

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, which covers Wolf Creek Pass, said no foul play is suspected in Rodriguez’s death.


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